Disclaimer: Hm. I am not British, a mother, nor extremely rich, therefore I am not JK Rowling. And I am not dead, therefore I am not Lewis Carroll.
Author's Note: Wow, the first fic I've posted in, like, a month. It's got my creative juices flowing, and I rather like it as well. This is an entry for the Reviews Lounge June Challenge, in which "The Jabberwockey" by Lewis Carroll has to be used. And, just so you know, a review for this would make me insanely happy. Because they are the light of my life, really.
But back to the point: enjoy the fic!
"Luna," Harry Potter began slowly. "Why are you singing?"
Honestly? She didn't know. They were in the middle of a dark forest in the dead of night, searching for a bit of an evil madman's soul. It certainly didn't seem like the time to be singing. Though perhaps it would brighten up the mood, which was decidedly tense.
"Would you rather I talked?" Luna asked sincerely. "I think we need something to distract us."
She was rather surprised when Ginny nodded her head, her normally vivid red hair muted and dull in the darkness. It was oddly frightening. "Why shouldn't we talk? This forest burned down years ago, it's not like anything is living here that could hear us." She was right in that respect -- the only things that would be able to hear them were several leering birds in the deadened tree branches.
"Luna, what in the world would singing do?" Hermione sighed, turning her wand and casting the light on her friend. Luna smiled and shook her head. Always so sensible, that one.
"It would give us something to think about," she told Hermione logically. The brunette's brow furrowed. In her world of reason and understanding, singing did not qualify as thinking. If she was going to think, she would think about awful, dark things. Like their mission.
"Oh, come on Hermione. Maybe it'll lift our spirits," Ron said, speaking for the first time. He had grown more quiet over the past month, Luna observed.
Hermione scoffed. "I don't see the good in it."
"That's because you haven't heard the song," Luna piped up. Hermione looked as though she were about to say no, then shook her head slightly, as if to say, If you must.
Luna smiled. She always won out against her in the end ; it simply took a lot of reasoning. Or her idea of reasoning, anyway.
Taking a deep breath, she began to slowly sing to an unimaginable tune. The words where of a poem she had heard long ago . . . .
" Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe."
As she paused to catch her breath, she noticed Harry looking at her with a bemused expression on his face. "What in the world is that?" he asked, his tone light with laughter for the first time in days.
"The Jabberwocky poem," she said matter-of-factly, hearing Hermione breathe a soft 'oh' and start to explain.
"It's a poem from a very famous --"
"Book," Ron interrupted, a smile blossoming onto his face. Hermione glared at him a moment before turning back to Harry and Ginny.
"Yes, a book by a Muggle author, Lewis Carroll. Quite nonsense," she told them, and it was Luna who laughed.
"Oh, no, it's not nonsense at all. Don't you see?" She looked around expectantly. When no one spoke up, instead choosing to look at her with slightly worried expressions, she gave a small sigh of her own. "Perhaps if I sung another verse."
"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!"
"Yup, complete rubbish," Ron said, rolling his eyes. "Luna, that makes no sense."
"Things don't have to make sense!" she retorted, slightly hurt. Ginny turned to her brother, frowning disapprovingly.
"Don't make fun of Luna, Ron!" she said, with a hint of anger in her voice. Ron looked affronted.
"I wasn't making fun of her!"
"Would you stop arguing?" Harry hissed from his position at the front of the group. He turned to glare at them all. "Look, Ron, if Luna want's to sing some weird poem, let her!"
"It isn't weird!" Luna cried. Hermione fell into step beside her and clucked softly.
"Of course it isn't," she reassured Luna, but that didn't make her feel any better. Hermione was acting like a condescending mother, and that was not acceptable at all.
"You know, I'm just going to sing another verse," she announced loudly, and she thought she heard Ron stifle a groan, but she couldn't be sure. Nonetheless, she began.
"He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought --
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought."
"Wait a moment, why has he got a sword?" Ginny interrupted. At Hermione's bewildered expression, she quickly added, "I was just asking for Merlin's sake! It isn't as if he's just got a sword so he can cut up his sausage!" Luna smiled.
"He's going to kill the Jabberwocky," she explained gently.
"Why on Earth would he want to do that?" Ginny wondered. "A bit stupid of him, really."
"Yeah, well, it's a bit stupid of us to want to kill Voldemort, but we're doing it, aren't we?" came Harry's reply from up ahead. Ron caught up with him.
"Are you saying that the Jabber thing is like You-Know- er, Voldemort?" he asked, with only the slightest hint of a flinch. Harry nodded slowly.
"I've read that poem before, in one of Dudley's old schoolbooks. One of the only one's he didn't chuck out the window," he laughed. "For some reason I still remember it. Odd, now I think of it." Luna felt like crying out, "Yes!" but she contained herself. If she let them work it out on their own . . . .
"So?" Ginny's voice broke through her reverie.
"What's the next verse?" Ginny asked impatiently, and Luna was thankful it was so dark, otherwise they might have been able to see her smiling as she sang.
"And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!"
"So that means the Jab-Jab thing is there?" Ron asked, and Luna could detect a hint of interest in his voice. She nodded happily.
"Eyes of flame . . ." Hermione muttered distractedly. "What does that mean?"
"Oh, I dunno, maybe that his eyes are made of flame?" was Ron's sarcastic reply. She pushed a bit on his shoulder and sighed.
"No, Ron, it can't be that simple," she told him. He gave a bark of laughter.
"Why not? You always over-complicate things, Hermione."
"I do not!" she said, looking miffed. She ran a hand through her hair and glared at Ron again. "It has to be some sort of symbolism."
"Why?" he asked, and he held up his hands as if in surrender as she scowled at him. "Seriously! Can't it just mean that his eyes are made of fire? You're only over-analyzing."
Hermione was about to reply (with a few not-so-nice words), so Luna stepped in quickly by singing the next verse.
"One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back."
"Hey, Harry, that sounds like you!" Ginny cried gleefully. Harry sent her a bemused look.
"Well, we've decided that the Jabber-thingy is Voldemort --"
"When you weren't listening, you prat! So that would mean you killed it!" she finished triumphantly. Harry shook his head and laughed lightly.
"No offense, Ginny, but I don't think I would bring back Voldemort's head if I killed him," Harry said, to which Ginny glared at him.
"Not if you kill him, when you kill him," she said decisively. Ginny couldn't see it, but Luna had to suppress a chortle when Harry rolled his eyes.
"All right then, when I kill him, I seriously doubt I'd come back with his head. In fact, why would I want his head? Are they going to display it in some sort of Voldemort museum?" he joked, and Hermione, Ginny, and Luna beamed at each other. He was joking again!
"Luna?" Harry asked, and she whipped her head toward him. "Go on." She grinned and started the penultimate verse.
"And, has thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!'
He chortled in his joy."
Ron was the first to break the silence that had fallen over the group. "That -- that sounds a bit like Dumbledore, doesn't it?" Hermione smiled sadly.
"Yes, I suppose . . . wouldn't Dumbledore be the sort of person to say that?" Ginny and Luna nodded.
"Especially the 'beamish boy' bit," Ginny laughed softly. "Beamish isn't even a word."
"Which is why it suits him," Harry said, smiling a tad despite the circumstances. Luna grinned fully at the memory of Dumbledore's nonsense words, the one's that had made the most sense to her, oddly enough.
They all lapsed into silence once again, and it was several more minutes before Hermione said tentatively, "Luna?" She looked expectantly at her.
"Sing the rest?" Hermione asked, and Luna beamed at her. She then opened her mouth wide and sang in a clear, sweet voice the final verse.
" Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe."
"Did you like it?" she asked earnestly after she had finished.
"It was complete and utter nonsense . . . ." Hermione sniffed, and Luna looked crestfallen.
" . . . and all together quite lovely," she finished, smiling at her friend. Luna perked up instantly and Ginny said,
"I liked it, Luna. Even though the words are a bit odd --"
"A bit?" Ron snorted. Hermione sent him a potent glare, and he shut his mouth quickly.
"It was wonderful," Harry spoke up, still in his position at the front of the group. He grinned back at them all. "Thanks for singing it, Luna." She smiled back, and found she didn't mind when a silence once again filled the forest. Even though she knew they had all reached the conclusion on their own, in their own time, she still felt the need to say it out loud, as if to prove it.
"Time to face the Jabberwocky," she murmured, as they all trooped out of the forest. And they all knew what she meant.